“Let’s you and him fight”

Years ago, I wrote a story about two cities who had been warring upon a plain for generations.  After a great battle, a soldier awakens from a headwound to find that ghouls have been creeping down from the mountains every night, feeding on the bodies of the dead, probably stoking the fires of conflict since time immemorial.

Smiling monsters.

There are multiple dualities that confront us today, and every time we resolve one, we move to a new and higher level, from which the source of the pain and fear is obvious…but the way to healing is also clear.

Male versus female

Gay versus Straight

Christian versus Muslim

Black versus White

Progressive and Conservative

And countless others.

I see nothing, and I mean NOTHING in the history of the human beings on either side of these issues that requires us to believe one side is superior or inferior in any substantial and ultimately meaningful way. All of the pain can be explained by the urge to survive on a tribal or personal or genetic level.   All of the violence can be explained by 2% predation, 97% fear mobilized as anger, and about 1% other stuff.

The answer?

1) Love yourself enough to fight for your own soul, and forgive your trespasses.  Connect to your source of strength until you can look at the truth without flinching.  See how your errors and transgressions were the result of error, fear, illusion, immature selfishness and ego.  Take the leap of Faith that at the core of you, there is good.  And that love is stronger than fear.

2) Extend your definition of “self” to others, offering the same forgiveness and affectionate regard and understanding.  Everyone has done the best they could with the resources they have. We can do better now.

3) Look at the entire history of the interaction, and puzzle it through until you can see it was all just human stuff. Release the guilt, blame, shame and need to be superior…or fear of inferiority.  Identify the fear beneath the anger.

4) Identify comrades.  Family.  People willing to stand together in unity, forgive themselves and each other, and build a future together.  It is true that our past was an expression of “the best we could do.” But…we have more resources now. We can do better.

5) Most of those who cannot or will not join us are merely asleep, dreaming they are awake.  Let them sleep.   Be a protector. But be aware that they can be dangerous when their fear turns to anger. Drowning swimmers will drag down the lifeguard.   But remember also that there are ghouls. Smiling monsters.  Transactional Analysis calls this “let’s you and him fight.” They love the conflict. They feed on our flesh.

Wake up to the amazing potential existing at this moment in human history.  Most of our problems have been caused by fear and weakness.

The answer is love and strength.




One comment

  1. Much of this essay is clarification of “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” especialy #2, perhaps, but folk do seem to need reminding and explanations.

    As to the ghouls… I’m of a mind to identify them with those who embrace the modern horror genre, which glorifies torture and cruelty. I’m old enough to to remember the ‘classic’ monster movies, film noir and darker suspense films, where there were villains that seemed at the time to be the ultimate in evil — some were, I guess, but largely off-screen. To me things began to slip with the Hammer versions (blood!), crossed a line with Freddy Kreuger and Jason (slash!), and now I cringe with the very thought of films like “Saw” and “Hostel.” (Dismemberment!)

    Okay, I was alive whent hose earlier ones were being made; I’m old enough to have been surrounded by some of the situations that might well have been inspired by some of the films I mention. Friends have been killed, I’ve been robbed at gunpoint, but though I’ve lived in neighborhoods where this kind of thing can happen, I’ve essentially been sheltered (at least to some degree by luck) from the worst.

    And I’m neither prudish nor immune to some of the rush that some of this stuff in entertainment media evokes. But I can be ashamed of myself for some of that, and I know that I could not perpetrate nor enxcourage any of these horrors in real life. Bad enough in ‘reel’ life. Really.

    Before I out-word you (If I haven’t already; this appears to be one of your shorter posts), I’ll just stop there. Maybe thare’s been something here to consider.


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